Elmer Long’s Weird and Wonderful Bottle Tree Ranch, Barstow, California

(Image: American Backroom, cc-nc-3.0 – see official website)

One of the more weird and wonderful attractions along historic Route 66 near Barstow, California is Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Ranch.  Made from hundreds of empty bottles mounted on recycled scrap metal poles, the quirky masterpiece was born around 2000 when artist Elmer inherited a wealth of discarded treasures that his late father had found over the years while wandering the desert.

(Image: American Backroom, cc-nc-3.0 - see official website)

Unsure what the do with the hoard, Elmer decided to re-purpose the colourful glassware into his first bottle tree.  Before he knew it, the Bottle Tree Ranch was born and a decade later, the offbeat attraction was an exhibition of colourful recycled glass that draws motorists travelling the historic route through Mojave County.

(Image: American Backroom, cc-nc-3.0Tobin, cc-sa-3.0)

Elmer welcomes visitors and enjoys striking up conversations with those that pull over.   According to Oddity Central: [Elmer] always complains about how people now prefer the interstates, even though they are completely soulless, compared to the old routes.  He longs for the old days when people also travelled to discover the towns and wonders along the roads.”  Urban Ghosts concurs.

 

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